Russian Orthodox Ready to Talk : Synod Votes in Favor of Dialogue With Vatican

MOSCOW, JULY 21, 2006 ( A meeting of the Russian Orthodox Church (MP–NFTU) ruled in favor of continuing dialogue with the Vatican.
The Ordinary Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, presided over by the Patriarch of Moscow, Alexy II, was held July 17-19 in the Monastery of the Trinity and St. Sergius.

According to reports of the Russian news agency Interfax, the key topic of the synod was dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox, and in particular the common ground shared between the two Churches.

“These problems were discussed personally in May,” reported Interfax, in a meeting between Benedict XVI and the head of the foreign relations department of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Kyrill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, “when both pointed out the closeness of the points of view of the two Churches on such topics, as well as their desire to continue their joint work.”

“Also in this meeting, both representatives recognized the usefulness of developing a common position on bioethical problems and the need to join forces for the affirmation and defense of the family as institution, and the value of human life,” the news service reported.

The Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church also approved the results obtained, in early May of this year, at the Catholic-Orthodox international conference held in Vienna: “To Give Europe a Soul: Mission and Responsibility of the Church.”

According to reports of the Russian news agency RIA, the synod considered “productive the continuation of the dialogue between Orthodox and Catholics on the topics discussed in the conference, such as the influence of Christian ethics on politics, dialogue with other religions and with the humanism of secularized cultures, the challenges of globalization, and the economy and mass media, among others.”